Tamworth parishioners enjoyed an inspirational visit by passionate CAFOD supporter Fred Uttley, who passed through Birmingham on Wednesday as part of his 1,100 mile cycle challenge to raise funds for farmers in Bangladesh and ask others to campaign against world hunger.
Fred, (68), a great grandfather from Lancashire was welcomed to Birmingham on the 17th day of his gruelling challenge to reach all 22 Catholic dioceses of England and Wales to raise awareness of the injustice of hunger.
Parishioners from St John the Baptist parish in Tamworth were inspired by Fred’s experiences in developing countries and the harrowing poverty he has seen, as well as the action he has taken to try and tackle this issue. Parish priest Fr Michael White, who is a keen cyclist, said the parish will join Fred as campaigners for CAFOD’s Hungry for
Change campaign. Fr Noel N’tungu from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who lives at Sacred Heart parish in Tamworth said “I am amazed at how much Fred is giving of himself to help the poor of the world”
CAFOD’s manager for Birmingham Abigail McMillan said: “It was a real pleasure to meet Fred, who arrived looking energetic and enthusiastic, despite the morning’s cycle. Spending time with him and Mark over lunch was a highlight of our day and we wish him well as he finishes le Tour de Fred. He really inspired our supporters and renewed their enthusiasm for taking action.”
Fred said: “We’ve enjoyed the lovely reception here from the Archdiocese of Birmingham and have enjoyed meeting fellow CAFOD volunteers, who all put in a tremendous amount of work for CAFOD.”
Fred is taking on the biking challenge to support CAFOD’s Hungry for Change campaign, which is calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to use the UK’s Presidency of the G8 to fix the global food system. For the last two and a half weeks, he has cycled more than two thirds of the 22 Catholic dioceses in England & Wales, which spans from Plymouth in the South to Hexham & Newcastle in the North.
The ‘Tour de Fred’ began at 10.30 on June 9 when Fred left Salford Cathedral. After completing two huge loops of the country, Fred is set to arrive back in Manchester, at Holy Name church on June 28, having visited more than 25 schools, churches, and cathedrals in more than 30 villages, towns and cities, and covering more than 1,100 miles.
Any money Fred raises will go to a CAFOD project that supports small-scale farmers in Rajshahi, Bangladesh.
You can support the Tour de Fred by sponsoring Fred at justgiving.com/tourdefred. More details and an interactive map are available at www.cafod.org.uk/tourdefred or you can follow him on his Twitter account @LeTourdeFred and check for updates on the interactive map.